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February 27 2012.

The Mayor of Newhaven, Councillor Steve Saunders, has written to East Sussex County Council concerning the proposed change in Bank Holiday 'deliveries' to the Veolia Incinerator:

Recent Planning Applications by Veolia.

It is with increasing concern that the town council has viewed a number of recent planning applications by Veolia relating to increasing truck movements on Public and Bank Holidays. Concern because, while the incinerator itself was given permission in the face of massive public opposition, conditions were applied to control some of the undesirable aspects and these now seem to be being eroded. If allowed, these would call into question the whole point of having a planning process where conditions are imposed if those conditions are only imposed until the applicant decides they
want to change them. In this case, it would seem, before the incinerator is even officially "in use".

The current application is to allow a change from 10 deliveries on Public and Bank Holidays to 35. One presumes that we are supposed to be happier about this than the previous application which proposed 75 but which has been withdrawn due to "public concern". However, what concerns the public is that there are ANY deliveries on these days. Rightly so. When a large proportion of the population are enjoying some rest and recreation they don't want to
be disturbed by huge juggernauts thundering past their homes and gardens and disturbing their peaceful enjoyment of these rest days.

It should be noted that this is not just a Newhaven problem because it will be all of those houses, villages and towns in the county adjacent to the major routes to Newhaven which will be affected along with the National Park.

Veolia's justification for this is that there are "changing public expectations" about waste collection meaning that it is becoming necessary for collections to be made on Public and Bank Holidays. These changes would allow local deliveries to be taken directly to the incinerator while collections further afield could be taken to waste transfer stations. This sounds very plausible until anyone tries to check on the facts. Members of this council have taken it upon themselves to check with most likely authorities to use such a facility - namely Brighton & Hove city council, Lewes District Council, Wealden District council and Eastbourne Borough council and all have declared that they have no plans to alter the collection rotas to do collections on Public and Bank Holidays. Veolia's second reason for these changes is stated as "operational need". This seems vague and could cover a multitude of sins. At the very least, Veolia's application would seem to be premature and ill-advised. Those with more colourful imaginations will be speculating on what Veolia's real intentions are.

Veolia were at pains to explain to us that they wanted to operate a "good neighbour" policy. Is this just publicity spin? They should perhaps be considering what it means to be a good neighbour instead of trying to justify why we didn't want them here in the first place.

This council is totally opposed to any changes of conditions to the planning permissions given to Veolia for their incinerator on North Quay, Newhaven.

Councillor Steve Saunders
Town Mayor of Newhaven